Nancy Panoz, an Atlanta-based entrepreneur and founder of several businesses, will receive the Melitta Bentz Woman of Innovation and Invention Award on Friday, Oct. 16, during a luncheon ceremony at the annual conference of The International Alliance at the Renaissance Harborplace Hotel in Baltimore.
The award is named after Melitta Bentz, who invented and patented the filter drip system of coffeemaking in 1908. Melitta North America Corp., a subsidiary of the Melitta Group based in Minden, Germany, created the award in 1989 to recognize one woman a year for her leadership, ambition and courage. The winner is presented with a $5,000 check as well as a $1,000 check to be donated to the charity of her choice.
Mrs. Panoz, established with her husband, Donald, in 1969 Elan Corp., plc, which is based in Ireland and researches medicine dosages and conducts pharmaceutical research. Today it is one of the world’s leading specialty pharmaceutical companies concentrating on drug delivery systems such as time release capsules and patches.
Elan was the first Irish company to be publicly traded on a stock exchange in the U.S. when it was listed on NASDAQ in 1981. The company now is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and has operating units in Holland, Philippines, and the states of California, Massachusetts as well as Georgia.
In Ireland, Mrs. Panoz also co-founded Shop and Save, a chain of self-service health and beauty aid stores. The company was sold in 1977 to Guinness England. In 1981, she co-founded Ch‰teau Elan Winery and Resort, an operating winery, resort and meeting destination in Braselton.
Mrs. Panoz also founded Nanco Holdings Inc. and Elan Natural Water to develop mountain spring water products, which are sold in the Southeast; Collegiate Critters Inc., which markets and distributes miniature college mascot likenesses; and the Granite Steps Bed and Breakfast in Savannah.
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